By Ali Elkin, Bloomberg News (TNS)
They’re not in it to win it themselves — not yet, at least — but possible Democratic primary challengers to Hillary Clinton had plenty to say on Sunday about the newly announced presidential candidate.
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley led the call for a competitive contest for the party’s nomination.
“I think it would be an extreme poverty indeed if there weren’t more than one person willing to compete for the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party,” O’Malley said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” according to a transcript from the network. He’ll decide whether to run by the end of May, he said, and would make a better president than Clinton “because of the experience that I can bring to this job.”
Former Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia, who formed an exploratory committee in November, jabbed at Clinton’s fundraising power, carefully constructed image and lengthy public career.
“We’re never going to have this financial leviathan machine that’s going to pull in $2.5 billion, as some people do. I’m never going to have a political consultant at my side, whispering what I should say or how I should dress or whether I ought to go to Wal-Mart or not,” Webb said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “But what we do have is long experience on the issues in and out of government, strong beliefs about where the country needs to go, and I think the kind of leadership where we can govern.”
“I think we’ve got a lot of incumbent fatigue in the country and I think people are looking for fresh approaches in terms of how to solve the problems of the country,” Webb also said.
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an independent, said he was skeptical of candidates’ willingness in either party to take on the so-called billionaire class.
“I think that is the that we have to wage if we are going to save the middle class and I do have doubts about whether Hillary Clinton or whether any Republican candidate out there is prepared to take on the big money interests who control so much of our economy and, as a result of Citizens United, our political process, as well,” Sanders said on “Fox News Sunday.” He will decide whether to run in “the near future,” he said.
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